An alternative to fortified schools: Using crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) to balance student safety and psychological well-being

Daniel Lamoreaux, Michael L. Sulkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In response to tragic school shootings, heightened attention has been devoted to making schools safer through the implementation of security features. However, excessive security measures have a negative impact on school climate, student functioning, and academic achievement. Therefore, there is a critical need to design schools that are safe and secure, yet also welcoming and comfortable. As a promising approach in this regard, crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) is an architectural philosophy that aims to deter criminal or antisocial behavior through environmental design, and it includes a focus on natural surveillance, access control, and territorial reinforcement. This review discusses pertinent effects of the school environment on student outcomes, extant research on the impact of visible security measures, the relationship between students’ perceptions of safety and academic functioning, and how using CPTED could concomitantly address the physical safety and psychological comfort of students at school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-165
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • crime prevention through environmental design
  • psychological comfort
  • school environment
  • school safety
  • school violence
  • student perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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